Introduce the Stabyhoun Breed

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Introduce the Stabyhoun Breed

Postby MoHunter » Sat Jan 31, 2004 9:50 am

The Stabyhoun is a fine little gundog of spaniel origin, which originates in the province of Friesland. Among its ancestors are probably the Dutch Partridge Dog, the original spaniels from England, and the English Setter. It stands 19-21 inches tall and weighs 30-45 pounds. It has a deep chest and moderately short legs, a straight back, a long but thick neck, a dome shaped head, a well-pronounced stop and a medium length muzzle of a roughly triangular shape. It has a double coat with the outer coat being long and smooth and the inner coat dense and soft, thus making the dog weather resistant. There is much feathering on the underparts, chest, and tail and colors include white with orange, black, or brown markings in varying amounts. There are about thirty dogs in the USA and only 3500 in the world, most of them in Holland.
The Stabyhoun is both a soft-mouthed retriever and a pointer that is particularly useful for hunting ducks. It is a good swimmer that can handle cold water and loves to please its owner. This dog has a very laid back temperament and it loves to play with children. Many Dutch owners use its natural retrieving abilities for playing with balls, because it will go into the water and find the balls then bring them back. This dog is a wonderful pet to have around the house and is just perfect for life in Holland with its waterways and parks. While it makes a good watchdog it is friendly and amiable. It is also a very powerful dog and larger ones can pull sleds in the winter. Today it enjoys a moderate, though very devoted fancy among Dutch sportsmen and homeowners and its numbers are increasing slowly but steadily. It has yet to gain any significant fancy outside of Holland.
In the Netherlands northern province of Friesland the Stabyhoun, (which probably is a descendant of Spaniels brought to the Netherlands by the Spanish conquistadors) has been bred for hundreds of years. Literal evidence of the existence of Stabyhoun breed has been found in the early 1800.
Stabyhoun was officially confirmed as a breed in Netherlands in 1942, and the Dutch Stabyhoun and Wetterhoun Association (De Nederland Vereniging voor Stabij- en Wetterhoun) was formed in 1947.
As a versatile breed, Stabyhouns have been used through out ages as a guard and watch dog for the farms, but before all it is a hunting dog. It is very sharp-eyed, owns a good sense, works fast and quickly, and is specialized hunting in the watery areas and -specially in the dawn of it’s history- hunting foxes and other animals, which hunt game. Heavily built with beautiful coat Stabyhoun is equally perfect for the hunter’s companion, and as a family’s loyal friend. But, it is not fit to be just a family dog. Staby´s are eager hunting and sporting dogs, so they need lot of exercise and activities.
By their nature, Stabyhouns are obedient, peaceful, kind and patient dogs, which are deeply fond of their family, and they always want to please their owner. Or as said by nature Frisian: "The Staby is reflecting a character of the Frisian people. Stubborn, straight, social and quiet, friendly but mostly a bit reserved for strangers".

Postby MCTuna » Sat Jan 31, 2004 11:56 am


Cool looking dog! I always like to learn about off-breeds. Do you do NAVHDA or any other Versatile Hunting Dog events? Is it AKC reg or has it escaped the wrath of the Show world :?

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Postby Hank » Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:39 pm

Any relation to the small munsterlander? They look very similar.
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Postby MoHunter » Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:11 am

MCTuna- The Stabyoun (Stabijhoun) is UKC registered and also have Netherand Kennel Club papers which is part of the FCI club. So far we have been just to busy to get involved with NAVDHA.

Hank- From what I have heard from breeders in Holland the Staby was first started by the Spanish, maybe as far back as the 1400's. The Dutch was the only country that kept and developed the breed. Staby means "Stand by me" and Houn in Dutch is "dog". There are two other dogs the Dutch have breed for hunting most people don't know about. There is the Kooikerhondje ( which is a smaller breed and the Wetterhoun ( which is larger than the Staby.

Postby chiendog » Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:50 am


Thank you very much for the information on the Stabyhoun. Your website is very nice.

I have been researching the various European gundog breeds for a while now and have visited the netherlands twice. While I have been able to find a number of hunters still using the Drent Patrijshoun in field trials and for hunting, I have been unable to find anyone there that uses the Stabyhoun as a pointer or gundog. I have heard that some may be used very occasionally as retrievers or trackers of rabbits but all my research indicates that the main use of the breed was as a watch dog for farms and as a hunter of moles and "mudde" (Dutch: bunzing, English: polecat, hence the alternative name for the breed: ‘muddehoun’). All of the hunters and trialers I spoke to in the Netherlands seem to think that the Stabyhoun is more or less a companion breed nowadays and never was considered a true pointing breed despite its listing in the FCI's group 7 (pointing dogs)

So I was very interested to read that you plan to run your dog in NAVHDA. Could you tell us a bit about how your Staby hunts? Does it point? Do you know of others here or in Holland that regularly hunt with their Stabyhoun and if so, could you give us a brief description of the way they hunt (range, pace, species pursued etc.)

Thanks again for your informative site!
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Postby MoHunter » Thu Feb 12, 2004 10:35 am

The Spanish developed the Stabijhoun breed and they brought the breed to Holland somewhere between 1400’s to 1700’s. The Dutch continued to breed other characteristics into this breed and for a while they bred the Wetterhoun and the Staby together. Because they were so very poor they wanted a dog that could fulfill all their needs in just one dog. The Stabijhoun of today is just that dog. Since there isn’t much hunting land in Holland (they don’t have much open areas) and also the gun laws are very restrictive, the breed doesn’t have much of a chance to use their hunting abilities.

It is a little strange why they were put in the Pointing group, maybe because they don’t fit anywhere else. Since they were bred to do so everything for a family, they require a lot of training to over come their instinct to hunt anything, if you want to hunt one species. We had a real hard time getting our dog to stop hunting the deer and turkey, because their scent was so strong in the field. Our Belle really is a fine quail hunter and a good tracker when we need to find downed game. A Staby holds their noses to the ground like a Beagle or hound dog, rather than a bird dog. They are also used as a retriever and were bred to retrieve ducks and climb the dikes in Holland. So their front quarter are strong and well developed for climbing steep inclines. They also have webbed feet, oil glands to repel the water or dirt and swim a little like a surfaced submarine (don’t very much leg movement). Within this breed there are another main characteristics that most people don’t hear or talk about. As dogs grow up from pups, they seem to develop stronger senses in different ways. Some of the pups develop well-developed eye site and seem to hunt more by sight, but still use their noses. Then the other pups develop better sense of smell and really don’t rely on their eye to find game. This is more of a dominant trait and is easily seen early in a pups life. So when we pick out our dog we asked for one with a good nose.

I have also been in contact with a Swedish family that uses their Staby’s for tracking reindeer while hunting and after the shot. Besides them, I don’t know of anyone who hunts this breed. Just to clear things up, we don’t compete anywhere with our dogs. I just don’t have the time with work and my other hobbies. If you would like to visit more about the dogs, please feel free to send me a e-mail.

Postby Dutchboy » Thu Mar 04, 2004 2:41 pm

Great to see the interest in some of the more obscure continental breeds. Having grown up with the Friese Staby, it's good to see.

More and more of these breeds are coming to the US, and some of them are pretty decent. I imported a Drent (a.k.a. Dutch Partridge Dog) from the Netherlands a couple of years back, and have been hunting her. Closely related to the Munsterlanders, this is also a versatile breed suitable for the foot hunter.

Best of luck, Dutch.

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